What God Showed Me About Sex

When I became a Christian, I wanted to rip Matthew 5:27-32 out of the bible. I wanted to believe that maybe Jesus did not mean what he'd said about sex, so I tried to reinterpret his words. Nowadays, he would be teaching something else -- times have changed during the last two thousand years, right? And we know a lot more about sex nowadays, right? And we developed responsibility, right? We can deal with sex in the right way now, right? So why not just do it?

Know what? I learned that all these ideas are lies.

I've been with my girlfriend for about a year now. She was a Christian from the start. We did not sleep together, but other than that we did about everything one could imagine a woman and a man would do in a bed except for sexual intercourse.

Four weeks ago -- shortly after I became a Christian -- God hit us over our heads with the bible and made clear to us that it was no joke when Jesus said that we have to gouge it out like an eye. And what's more, he did not only give us a rule to obey. He made very clear to us WHY it is so important to obey this law!

Satan is not creative. He does not invent new things. But what he does all the time is try to change the rules God gave us with his great gifts. He sets up new rules for our sexuality. He tells us that it is very right to be horny all the time. And that it is perfectly okay and healthy to feel lust whenever and towards whoever we want to, and that it even is more healthy and perfectly okay to act it out in every way we want to.

But have you ever looked closer on the results of this satanic understanding of sexuality? First of all it takes us further away from God. Anyone ever tried to pray after masturbating? I could never even try to get in contact with God after it.

And can you see what else is happening? Abuse of children, rape, jealousy, greed, etc. The list dosen't end. And do you know what list that is? It is the devils' list of success.

But for me and my girlfriend, there was something else that made very clear to us what our so called "easy-going-very-okay-perfectly-healthy-sexuality" really was.

At God's prompting, we confessed all of our previous sexual and deep emotional relationships to each other. Can you imagine, how hurtful this process is? I can guarantee that no one can endure this without the mercy of God and Jesus standing beside you to hold your hand. But how come it hurts when it was all so healthy and perfectly okay before?

Well, that is easy. We are eternal beings. A man and his woman are one flesh. Every sexual or deep emotional relationship one has before he marries is a betrayal of his or her later eternal partner. We give something away that only belongs to Him. This is the most important reason why our chaotic sexuality ends up being so hurtful.

The good news of course is that God knows about that and fixes it! I never felt his mercy so strongly before.

There is another important lie about sexuality which comes directly from Satan. I was afraid of changing our relationship from a sexual one to a non-sexual one, because Satan kept telling me that our relationship would lose depth if we abstained from sex. I think this is something most people think -- that there is no really deep relationship between women and men without sex.

Well, after we started to abstain from sexual behavior we realized at once that this was a lie. When you follow Jesus in this point, of course the same thing happens that always happens when you obey his teachings -- you grow closer to him. You start to hear Gods' voice more clearly and more often. You can feel Gods' presence and his blessing within the relationship, and through his presence it only begins to become a real, deep and meaningful relationship. That's why I would suggest every Christian couple to give it a try!

I'm not saying that sex is a bad thing. Sex is from God, of course! Our whole life is from God. And of all the gifts that He has given us in His grace, sex is one of the biggest, best, most beautiful, and powerful ones. But the bigger and more powerful something is the more responsibility that comes with its use. And in fact, sexuality in the Bible is not evil. What is evil, is the utter lack of responsibility in the way we use this gift. This is why Jesus speaks so seriously about sex.

The pastor of our church at the Manhattan Vineyard talked to us about it a few weeks ago in a very moving way. However, he started a few verses earlier at Matt. 5:27. "You have heard that it is said that you should not commit adultry, But I say to you, whoever looks at a woman with lust in his heart, already has committed adultry in his heart." What is this then? Does Jesus say that Sex is evil? Of course not. But I think this is a clear message from God about how we ought to conduct ourselves sexually. Jesus is radical, he goes further than just to say that sex outside of marraige is unhealthy. Not only the sex is wrong but also the fantasizing of sex is wrong.

It is clear that thoughts come constantly to our minds. What Jesus demands from us here is that we do not meditate and entertain such thoughts; we should cut them off, like a hand.

Our pastor also clarified the context of the passage. Jesus is talking to Jews, who knew the law; they knew that adultry was a sin. But Jesus makes clear to them that simply to follow the letter of the law was not enough. He looks in our hearts, and for him it is much much more important what he finds there. We also read Mark 7:20-22 as an accompanyment. It says, "And He said, what comes out of a man, this is what makes him impure; from the heart of man come all of the impure thoughts, theft, murder, adultry, greed, ..."

Didn't we all realize that Jesus is not looking on the outside like we do most of the time but directly into our hearts?

"Who looks on a woman lustfully already comitted adultry with her in his heart." How is that to be understood? I can only understand it in the following way: As command to gouge out this thoughts like an eye. To chase it away and to cut it off like a hand. And what follows this? Jesus is clearly starting from the point of monogamous marriage as a Christian ideal. He is laying the foundation that, in the Christian marriage, sex will be what God intended it to be. Woman and man become what they are in reality: One flesh. In this way sex really is great. Blessed. Holy. In any other form we have to gouge it out as well as any fantasies about it

Clearly, we've all fallen and failed in every way imaginable. The knowlegde of our own failure is surely what brought many of us to Jesus. We recognized that we can't do it right without God, that we fail. That we sin. But in this moment, Jesus was there for us. He took all of our sin on his back and died on the cross for us. He died slowly, six hours long. He suffered more then one would even let an animal suffer. Through this we could recognize him and his unmeasurable love for us. He overcame death and resurrected. He is all that we are. We believe in him. Even more. We KNOW that this is the truth.

But when it comes to sex before marriage, we don't want anything to have to do with Him. We don't want to listen to what he taught, we close our eyes and argue that all sex related problems are only rooted in our society. We think that if we only get some therapy we can see sex without being married as the healthy normal lifestyle.

But this is a lie.

Haven't we all figured out that we have to give our entire life back to Jesus so he can fix it? How is it that we get the idea that Jesus is the right way for everything but sex -- a little doctoring of our sick society and our damaged conscious will suffice? Sorry, but Jesus' teachings about sexuality are totally clear. Somehow we all turn into little Judases when its about sex. At this point we don't want to know anything else about Jesus. At the same time its clear that we are saved. Even though we fail on certain issues during our entire life over and over again, act against Jesus teachings and make a million mistakes, God is faithful and never betrays us. He stands to what he said and will take us to be with him in heaven.

I know that it is sometimes very difficult to hear God's voice clearly. But concerning the sex issue he spoke loud and clear to my girlfriend and me. In times when we want sex or become horny we chase it away until we get married. God told us to do so during our prayers. He gave us some bible passages and through our pastor he showed us what the sense of this law is. And he showed us how he sad he was when we were disobedient over and over again. But most important of all is that he is constanly helping us with this task. And, very important, too -- he forgave us for our sins.

God never asks us to give up something without giving us everything back -- plus interest! After we started to abstain from sex he filled the vaccum with his love and blessings and enriched and deepend our relationship.

I can only tell you about what is true for us and encourage anyone who wants to try the same thing. It works!

B. Faber ([email protected])

Since this writing (Aug 97), the author has married his then-girlfriend and the two currently live in Manhattan with daughter Imani. Mr. Faber practices international law for a German company and his wife is a biochemist at New York University.



Updated: March 11, 2002
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